Liz and I have been building up our food blog for over two years now. She, as the photographer, and I as the recipe creator. One thing I’ve noticed about myself is that “the next recipe” is always on my mind. I find myself looking at Pinterest, restaurant menus, magazines, watching food shows, etc., for culinary inspiration. Liz catches herself admiring how dishes are composed in magazines and online. The beauty of this is that I’m rarely stuck in a cooking rut, and Liz is filled with ideas for photographing the meals.
I’ve learned a lot…
Quite often I feel like I have to make something completely different–that I have to learn to develop a brand new or unique dish. But then I’m reminded that sometimes it’s nice to go back to the basics–keeping it simple and still delicious.
I must admit that I’ve learned a lot over the past two years due to this blog. I feel that I’ve gained kitchen skills, knowledge, and confidence. It’s not that I wasn’t cooking before the blog. I enjoyed cooking way before we started the blog and luckily I already had a nice inventory of recipes I made on a regular basis–some basics and some more complex.
This day it was back to the basics.
Michael recently reminded me of a food I hadn’t made in a while–caramalized onions and peppers. We often have fajitas, and although he usually asks me to make caramelized onions and peppers to go with them, when it’s a weeknight meal that I have to whip up quickly, I don’t include this component. I had convinced myself that I didn’t have time to cook a secondary food while cooking the chicken or steak, and prepping the fajita toppings.
When I was making fajitas last weekend, I wanted to include the onions and peppers as Michael has requested. I figured I had more time and I love them too, so why not. Liz suggested I add the recipe to the blog. She reminded me that there are plenty of people, like her, who want to learn the basics, and that while this may seem obvious to many people, it’s not so for everyone. Good point. This is certainly simple, but it’s delicious.
Honestly, after making these caramelized onions and peppers for our fajitas, I’m not sure why I don’t make this more often–even on a weeknight when I’m in a hurry. It’s really quite fast and I cooked it at the same time as the steak for our fajitas. Seems so obvious now. Thanks Michael–you’ll get to enjoy this more often now!
Toppings like these are usually the sidekick of a great meal. Sometimes they’re even an after-thought. But the truth is that sometimes they’re the thing that makes the meal delicious and brings it to another level of awesome. This recipe has a little soy sauce, garlic and wine to kick it up a notch. The steak fajitas we had last weekend were sooooo much better because of these onions and peppers.
You know… between you and me… I can see myself making meatless fajitas in the future–with these caramelized onions and peppers as the main act. As a meat-eater, that’s saying a lot.
Next time you’re planning a meal, pay extra attention to those “basic” toppings that are anything but plain. Maybe you do have time…because it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. We live and learn, and always, eat well, friends.
Cast Iron Caramelized Onions and Peppers Recipe
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron pan (or other large skillet) on medium high.
- Add the peppers, onions and garlic, and stir.
- Cook the peppers for about 10 minutes, staring occasionally.
- Add the wine, soy sauce and black pepper.
- Cook until the liquid has reduced by 3/4. Stir occasionally. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Your peppers and onions are ready to be served! Enjoy!